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The Future of Health:
Healthcare Trends For 2022

Healthcare Trends

Will 2022 finally be when the global pandemic – COVID-19 leaves us behind, and we will be back to normal? Or will new variants of the virus continue to haunt us? Which technological solutions will continue to disrupt the healthcare sector? Or how will the healthcare industry meet the ever-growing customer demands and expectations? All these questions and many more may come to one's mind when thinking about the time ahead.

It is no secret that the healthcare industry is one of the most evolving industries globally. Development of new technologies, constant updates of regulations and policies, growing costs of healthcare, rise in illnesses, and much more keep engaging healthcare leaders and organizations now and then. Patient safety is of utmost importance and organizing all the data surrounding patient care and needs is essential. Communication is key to the homeostasis of the patient and the system itself.

Healthcare workers and stakeholders strive to do everything in their capacity to enhance patient care. Thus, the healthcare landscape is continuously changing.

Moreover, where the global pandemic has mounted unpredictable pressure on healthcare professionals, it has also introduced the newest trends that will continue to shape the future of healthcare in the coming years. With that said, here are the nine hot takes when discussing healthcare trends for 2022:

1. Seeking Mental Health Becomes a Priority

No wonder the COVID-19 pandemic has changed every individual's life significantly and caused a lot of stress and anxiety. Many people also suffered from depression due to loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. As a result, offering mental health care became the need of the hour. The pandemic has taught us to break the stigma and prioritize mental health care. Thus, it's no surprise that therapies and counseling are gaining attention today and will continue to do so in the years to come. However, if you aspire to join the counseling career path, it's important to note that not all counselors work exclusively within these areas. Individuals who wish to help people dealing with mental health problems can consider a career in counseling. Most common counseling careers include substance abuse, school, family, etc. The best part - each one of these career paths has a promising job outlook.

2. Upsurge in Telehealth

The use of telehealth services has grown faster than ever during the pandemic. And it will continue to stay for the long run. Telehealth refers to remote health care services that employ digital information and communications technologies. With telehealth, healthcare providers can see and offer care to patients through video calls. No more patients need to commute to the physical office.

Thanks to the digital era, more and more people today are willing to seek treatment and develop relations with healthcare providers virtually than they were in the past. It is a perfect opportunity for patients who reside in a remote location and have no access to medical care or are bedridden.

3. Use of Data

Data is everywhere! And the healthcare sector is no different. Analyzing data can help healthcare organizations deliver customer-centric patient care and boost the patient experience. For example, many healthcare facilities and patients are using wearable devices today. Data collected from these devices makes it easy for healthcare providers to offer more focused and personalized care. Moreover, these wearable devices help patients gain real-time updates on their health status. In this manner, they can try to live a healthy lifestyle.

4. A Continuous Shift Towards Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Like data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics influence several other industries, and the healthcare industry are one of them. For example, healthcare facilities utilized AI during the pandemic to improve diagnostic accuracy and detect and prevent chronic/infectious diseases. Another application of AI helps minimize redundant tasks, detect patterns to forecast risks, and increase efficiency. The cutting-edge technology will continue to bring notable positive change in the healthcare industry in 2022.

Furthermore, large healthcare establishments combine AI with robotics to serve as virtual assistants to physicians, doctors, and nurses. The advantage of robots is they relieve humans from tedious tasks and increase precision and accuracy.

5. Rise of Remote Patient Monitoring

Previously, patients needed to visit doctor's offices daily, weekly, or monthly to get themselves checked and treated. However, today, it isn't necessary. Even if patients need to get checked by the doctor regularly, they don't need to be present physically. Instead, doctors, physicians, and nurses employ various medical IoT devices and telehealth services to monitor patients' conditions remotely and offer necessary care. Some common remote monitoring devices healthcare providers use for health assessment include blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose monitors. Thus, the hottest trend for 2022 is remote patient monitoring which will continue to gain popularity in the years to come.

6. Increase in Cybersecurity Measures

Unquestionably, the increase in cloud adoption, excessive data usage, and telehealth services in the healthcare sector bring numerous advantages. However, like every good thing also come some disadvantages. Internet criminals have become more sophisticated in today's world and cause serious problems if not dealt with properly. Cybercriminals can steal and misuse patients' confidential data, such as medical records, insurance details, etc. Thus, the healthcare industry may experience cyber threats and cyber attacks from time to time.

Therefore, in 2022, we can expect healthcare organizations to take strict measures so they can avoid any breaches or cyber threats. Moreover, there might also be new rules and regulations to protect data privacy.

7. Concern Over the Healthcare Workers' Shortage Will Continue to Grow

The healthcare industry sees a massive shortage of healthcare providers due to different reasons. These reasons can include long shifts, low wages, poor management, and many others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the healthcare worker shortage will reach approximately 18 million by 2030.

Moreover, as the Covid-19 pandemic started, healthcare workers felt more stressed and burned out. Burnout was a common factor in healthcare organizations in the past, but the global pandemic has worsened this issue even more. And unfortunately, it isn't going to go away anytime soon. Due to this, patients won't receive the best quality care. Therefore, healthcare stakeholders must look for ways to combat this issue.

8. Green Health Will Be a Focus

The global pandemic has surely taken away our attention from many global health issues - most importantly, climate change. Yet, as the countries have started making progress in re-engineering their economies, health leaders are also becoming more active in addressing old global health issues. Thus, the entire health system is working on reducing environmental footprints and contributing to practices that improve and promote sustainability.

Of course, the entire responsibility to keep the planet clean and healthy is not on the healthcare workers. Ordinary people must also take positive actions to keep the earth safe and healthy for future generations.

Key Takeaways

Undoubtedly, the healthcare sector is exciting and rewarding yet continuously in a state of flux. Put this way, the way healthcare is being regulated and provided today will be different in the time to come. The crucial factors that will drive the change include technological innovations and advancements, governmental policies, patients' expectations, and the global pandemic. Therefore, to remain competitive in this ever-evolving environment, healthcare organizations must stay adaptable and continue to address new challenges and trends.

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